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Monday, 16 December, 2002, 08:12 GMT
Bali campaign to bring tourists back
Bali beach
Bali is dependent on income from tourism

A senior Indonesian minister has appealed for governments around the world to lift their warning against travel to Indonesia in the wake of the Bali bomb attacks.

Mr Sukardi said restricting travel around the world was like offering extra rewards for terrorists

The minister, Laksamana Sukardi, was speaking as Bali staged a music concert, part of a new initiative to promote the island as a safe tourist destination.

Some of Indonesia's most popular bands gave their time for free to try to encourage people back to Bali.

The concert was the first in a planned series of events, from boxing to art exhibitions, all organised by a group calling itself Bali for the World.

Rebuilding its reputation

The aim is to try to rebuild the island, physically and psychologically.

The chairman of Bali for the World, the Indonesian cabinet minister, Laksamana Sukardi, said that without international hope Bali was facing an uphill struggle.

In particular, he said, the advice issued by some governments, warning against non-essential travel to Indonesia, should be lifted immediately.

"Travelling everywhere involves some risk. It's universal. So you give some sort of guidance to the travellers. But not promoting Indonesia as a dangerous place. It's a wrong assumption," he said.

Early days

Mr Sukardi said that restricting travel around the world was like offering extra rewards for terrorists.

Paranoia, he said, does not help anyone.

Extra police are now patrolling the streets of Bali.

But it has only been two months since the bombings, and memories of the tragedy, in which more than 180 people lost their lives, are still fresh.

Despite the best efforts of groups like Bali for the World, it is likely to be a good while before Bali regains its reputation as a peaceful paradise.


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See also:

30 Nov 02 | Africa
12 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
11 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
08 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
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